Empty shoes raise awareness about suicide at the State Capitol

Published: Sep. 26, 2019 at 2:11 PM CDT
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Empty shoes lined the steps of the State Capital to honor those who died by suicide in Wisconsin.

The third annual Empty Shoe Memorial raises awareness about suicide in our state. Each pair of shoes represents someone who died by suicide last year.

"It's a visual statement that needs to be heard. Our numbers aren't going down, they're going up. So we really all need to do our part," Barb Bigalke, Center for Suicide Memorial Director.

The Center for Suicide Awareness said it’s a visual statement that needs to be heard by lawmakers to support more suicide intervention programs.

"We have to break those stigmas that if we don't talk about it, it doesn't happen. We have to talk about it and really have those conversations that say 'how do we prevent suicide as a true state?'" Bigalke said.

She said one of the biggest warming signs is mood change.

“Are we seeing drastic mood changes? Is that the person that believes they always have to be the go-to for everything or the perfectionist?” she said. “I always say ‘Don't think someone can't die by suicide.’"

If you or someone you know needs help, text "HOPELINE" to 741-741.

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